Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 33 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
Life Arts   

Against Islamophobia: The One-Man Jihad


Most weekends, in front of the White House, you will come upon a one-man jihad, a man in a dark suit fighting against Islamophobia.

He carries a large banner with messages on either side. One side reads, "What is Terrorism?" and the other side, "What is Islam?" In small print on both sides, the banner adds: "31 Years Washington Journalist. Don't Trust Politicians. Appeal to People's Conscious [sic]. Will be here until I die!"

He would like to raise enough money at his website to be able to vigil full-time for the rest of his life.

This is Mohammed Ali Salih, who immigrated here from northern Sudan in 1980 and has since then worked as a freelance journalist for American and Arab newspapers. His op-eds have been published repeatedly in the New York Times and the Washington Post, among other prominent U.S. newspapers. He has been married for 35 years to a white conservative Christian Republican, whom he met in this country. Together they have borne three children and reside in Burke, Virginia.

He had wanted his children to have not one race but two. Now he realizes that race doesn't matter and that mixed race doesn't matter, but that "the new 'post-race' thinking could be equivalent to 'no race.' His son refers to himself not as biracial but "post-racial."

"A country without racial divisions. What a concept" ended this recent USA Today autobiographical column. (All of his op-eds are in one way or another autobiographical.)

He has immersed himself and his children in other religions of this country and the world, including Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, and Buddhism. He has written of spending a day of Ramadan at a Catholic monastery and of attending Orthodox Jewish Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services as well as a Passover Seder. He is teaching his children to be open-minded. This writer got to know him at DCIPI (DC Interfaith Peace Initiative) meetings. a group that discusses and activates interfaith outreach ideas and events--one of many in this enlightened and cosmopolitan area.


Mohammed al-Salih's first memory "has become a symbol of my life-long struggle between Islam and the West":

"The eldest of 15 brothers and sisters, I was probably three-years old, with my father and mother in a ten-by-ten ft. mud room that had a ceiling of tree branches and leaves, like most houses in my poor Sudanese village, on the Nile River, south of the borders with Egypt.

"It was evening and the room became dark and my mother lightened a kerosene lamp, and my father struggled to start a portable kerosene pressurized stove. Those were the first Western technologies my father bought after he married my mother and they were the latest in a village where most people use candles for light and wood for cooking.

"That evening, while my mother was making "shai samooti," (heated milk with tea), our evening meal with home-made biscuit or dried bread, my father spread on the floor a colorful mat, faced Mecca and started 'Magrib' (sunset) prayer. He stood up, loudly recited verses from the Koran, bent forward, sat down, touched the floor with his forehead, stood up and repeated those movements few more times.

"I can still visualize the singing sound of the Qu'ran verses mixed with the sound of the pressurized-stove's blue flames, while I was waiting for supper. . . ."

In this journalist's words, again:

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3  |  4

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

Rate It | View Ratings

Marta Steele Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Marta Steele is an author/editor/blogger who has been writing for since 2006. She is also author of the 2012 book "Grassroots, Geeks, Pros, and Pols: The Election Integrity Movement's Nonstop Battle to Win Back the People's Vote, (more...)

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Heads Up! Bernie to Be Interviewed on MSNBC 9 pm Tonight with "Exciting" News

Review: Andrew Kreig, "Presidential Puppetry: Obama, Romney, and Their Masters"

Ohio Heroes On Path To Deposing Rove

Smart Security or Dumb Dollar$?

Third Annual Women's March Converges on DC; Blocked from Capitol Building

There Is Life on Mars, Not Just Water

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend